Last week, I fell in love with a pair of shoes.
Now, I am most emphatically not a shoe person. I mean, I wear shoes all the time; but I don't care what they are, so long as they are comfortable. I have a pair of white flats, basic black pumps, sneakers for the exercising I never seem to get around to anymore; also, LLBean winter boots, and a pair or two of sandals (including some Birkenstock knock-offs, because I am holding out hope that Birkenstocks with socks come back in fashion again someday). I have never once in my life lusted after a pair of footwear, never sighed over an expensive, strappy little number with 3-inch heels, never understood other women's closets overflowing with impulse buys from Zappo's.
Which makes it all the more puzzling why I should have suddenly morphed into the sort of woman who lingers in the shoe aisles of Target and ogles footwear. But see to the right? Aren't they just so cute? Look at the colors! And the fetching wedge heel! And in my hard-to-find 5 and 1/2 size, to boot! (pun most definitely intended) At first I only let myself try them on. Then I put them primly back on their shelf, saying, "No, it wouldn't make sense. I don't need them." Every few days, though, I would go back and visit them, admire their candy colors. Caress their cool canvas. Admire their happy combination of form and function. Let's face it, I was smitten. But, truth to tell, it was all taking an emotional toll: the sneaking around, the hurried trysts, the yearning....
Reader, I bought them. Me, the woman who has never purchased - nay, even desired - a pair of shoes that she didn't absolutely need. I walked out of the store with them, feeling guilty yet unrepentant. They were mine, all mine! And they have fulfilled their promise. Every time I slip my old, tired feet into their caress, I feel years younger; each time I catch a glimpse of their cheerful colors, my mood brightens.
A mid-life crisis, maybe? A breaking of the bonds of middle-aged caution and frugality? Or maybe this purchase signals a hankering for a simpler, more innocent time, like that of my 4th birthday, when my grandparents gave me a pair of multi-colored striped Keds that I loved with all the fervor of a preschooler. All I know is that a new aesthetic sense seems to have been awakened in me, and I can better understand why Susie's entire little body quivers like an excited puppy's when I bring her into Payless Shoes. The colors! The styles! The possibilities!
It's a rebirth, I tell you. And all from a pair of shoes. I get it now. I really get it.